“I want her to have my brown eyes and your dense hair”, I told my husband excitedly as we prepared for the most important day of our lives. No day in my life can beat the excitement that I experienced that day.
It is amazing how hours and hours of the most painful trauma can give you the most beautiful moment of life.
“Don’t worry. She won’t break!”, is what the doctor told me to boost my confidence. It was time to experience the most beautiful moment of my life – holding Aarika for the first time in my arms. The moment I forgot the pain and struggle that I went through and just remembered the unbound love that I felt for her.
Like any other parent, my husband and I had the dream of making Aarika a strong woman of tomorrow. We were making plans to give Aarika the best of everything that we could. The best house, the best education, the best car, the best life. But hardly we knew that rather than giving her the best, we have gifted her the worst.
Hardly we knew that no matter whatever we do, we will fail. Rather than making her strong, we will end up taking away all her dreams to be strong.
The first 3 months with Aarika
Life was beautiful. A happy mother and a beautiful daughter – what more could I have asked for! But as they say, it’s not happiness that makes life meaningful, but pain.
So, while we were celebrating the happiness that Aarika had brought to our lives in form of her 3rd month birthday anniversary, we hardly knew that life had a different plan for us.
During the celebration, she twisted her wrist and we rushed to the nearest orthopedic. We were worried and that’s when our nightmare had kicked in. We came to know that she had fractured a bone 15 days back as well, which we weren’t even aware of. The strangest thing was that it had healed on its own.
Both my husband and I had no clue what the orthopedic was talking about. We were scared and confused at the same time.
Our society celebrates MOTHERS only in 3 forms –
Mother Goddess (Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati, etc.)
And, for mothers like you and me, they just look out for reasons to blame us or to despise us. A girl gets raped, the mother gets blamed for not raising her with the right “Sanskar”. A son gets killed, the mother gets blamed for not being focused.
So, I wasn’t surprised at all when everyone blamed me for Aarika’s condition. They blamed me for not taking care of her. They told me that I was not careful during pregnancy because of which all this was happening to Aarika.
And, I was so naïve that I also started blaming myself without even investigating completely as to what was really happening to the little soul. I cursed myself for being irresponsible and for being the worst mother in the world.
But hardly I knew it was just the beginning…
After 2 months of that incident, I was about to recover from the trauma when our pediatrician saw Aarika’s X-ray and recommended another doctor to us. Her x-rays were performed again, and another blast of shock hit our lives.
This time, she had broken her arm, collarbone, and a few ribs. Both my husband and I were shocked and clueless because Aarika never cried or showed any sign of injury.
We were scared but we felt extreme pain thinking about Aarika. She wasn’t even aware of what was happening to her.
And then the worst roller coaster ride of our lives started. From one doctor to another, from one hospital to another, until one day our fears stopped playing hide and seek with us. They looked into our eyes and told us what no parents would expect to hear for their kid.
We were the reason for our angel’s pain.
Rather than gifting her brown eyes and dense hair, we passed a flawed gene to our daughter—the gene that causes a brutal disorder – Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI or “brittle bone disease”).
It makes her bones so fragile that a slight touch could lead to broken bones. “Our baby was suffering because of us” – This is the worst nightmare any parent can live with.
Mothers have different memories of the first year of their kid’s birth. Some fortunate mothers remember how their kid started crawling or how they started burping. But, then there are some unfortunate mothers like me, who remember how their kid had a dozen broken bones and brain hemorrhages by her first birthday.
I was trying my level best but always felt that my best wasn’t good enough for Aarika. I felt like I was in a gas chamber, where I was crying for help, but no one could hear me.
With each passing day, I felt the weight of life increasing on me.
There was no hope of forgiving myself or my husband for Aarika’s condition. No hope for being the best mother I wanted to be. But, as they say, the strongest thing happens in the weakest moment. And, then it happened – the moment the woman in me turned into a mother.
Aarika had multiple fractures and she was surrounded by doctors as they were trying to reduce her pain. I stood confused and devastated. It was like the darkest moment that I ever remember.
But, then there was a ray of hope as Aarika smiled at me.
It felt she was trying to tell me– “Mom, you can do it. We can do it together. There is a reason why God has blessed me with a mother like you! He knew you could fight with the world and make me successful. You will not give up! You never do!”
And, as I smiled back at her, I knew that moment was magical. At that moment, I promised myself to be the best mother for Aarika. I found myself stronger and fiercer. That moment turned the woman in me into Aarika’s mother, who had accepted Aarika with all the beauty that she had.
There are moments when I am weak when I see her in pain. But, then most of our life is filled with Aarika’s laugh and giggles. She has inspired so many people around her to enjoy life despite her ongoing fractures and plasters one after another.
Special note to the society who is neither mine nor yours:
What scares me is not Aarika’s medical condition. It is your reaction that gives me sleepless nights. When she was born, some of you had the courage to tell me that Aarika was a result of my bad Karma!
And, I want to tell you that it’s not Aarika, but your presence in my life that is the result of bad Karma! I don’t need your shallow sympathies! I don’t need your empty concerns about Aarika or her marriage! As a mother, I will raise Aarika to defy all the worthless rules and to be a Wonder Woman! I will raise her to be a REBEL!
You can follow Aarika’s journey on her Facebook page – ‘Mighty Aarika‘.
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